Women are leading a revival of First Nations' staple foods. To get lucky, you have to get mucky. With my feet twisting in the mud of a frigid river, I have already lost the festive socks that were a Christmas gift from my mom. Now the river bottom is turning to quicksand beneath my bare feet. I sink slowly at first, then slip swiftly from waist-deep until the water is nearly at my neck. The water is so cold that it is crusted with ice along the shore, and I know I can't last much longer.
After seeing the film Avatar, the recent release by James Cameron dealing with allegorical Indigenous Peoples on an alien planet that humans seek to colonize, displace and finally eliminate in order to access the rich resources in their territories, a few reflections emerge. The first is a more than passing resemblance to the actual reality of Indigenous Peoples in Canada and beyond, the bounty of whose land and resources have cost them great suffering at the hands of colonizers and would-be-saviours.
The purpose of this project was to engage Aboriginal communities in discussions that would enable individuals and groups involved with food related action to explore and identify ways that the B.C. Food Systems Network (BCFSN) - Working Group on Indigenous Food Sovereignty (WGIFS) can support their work on increasing food security.
Since the time of contact with non Indigenous settlers in the southern interior of B.C. many traditional Indigenous harvesters including hunters, fishermen, and gatherers from the Ktunaxa, Nlaka’pamux, Secwepemc, St’at’imc, Syilx, and Ts’ilqotin nations have repeatedly expressed concern about the declining health and abundance of culturally important foods in our respective traditional territories. Therefore, the Interior of B.C.
Purpose: The purpose of the paper is to contribute to the development, collection and use of cultural indicators of Indigenous Peoples’ food and agro-ecological systems for policy, planning and advocacy purposes.
Audience: The intended users of this paper are Indigenous Peoples’ Organizations (IPOs), Government departments responsible for data collection and statistics, UN agencies, NGOs, and other development actors.